Archive for the ‘FFhistory’ Category

FFhistory: conclusion

Friday, January 20th, 2023

Now that I’ve finished remembering various developers it’s time to evaluate their impact and how it would be without certain them.

FFhistory: Paul B Mahol

Thursday, January 19th, 2023

This guy appeared in 2011 from nowhere and in a sense he looks like an embodiment of the project. You can find in him the same productivity and unwillingness to meet other people as in Michael Niedermayer, the same talents to reverse engineer codecs as in many people mentioned in the post about them, the same diva behaviour as in Baptiste Coudurier, the same versatility as elenril, the same unwillingness to finish Bink2 decoder as Luca’s unwillingness to finish Opus decoder (I’m still waiting for both BTW) and the same abrasive personality as in many developers from MPlayer. In other words, a guy with strong positive and negative sides.

FFhistory: helpers

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

I’ve tried to mention various developers who made the project better but there are still some people worth mentioning. Some of them have contributed next to none or no code at all but they helped in other ways. Now is a good occasion to mention them.

FFhistory: the Khirnovs

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

Here I’d like to remember two siblings who developed for FFmpeg and libav.

FFhistory: Summer of Code students

Monday, January 16th, 2023

Since 2006 FFmpeg (and libav when it existed and was active) has been participating in the Summer of Code program. Essentially it’s students working on tasks for different project with one corporation paying for the successful completion of the task during summer (back in the day it was $4.5k, no idea what happens now). While the sum is not remarkable by American standards, it was high by Central European and Asian standards. And of course there were students who were after money and disappeared after they got them (in one case with unbelievable claims about why the health problems prevented him from the completion). In one case there was a student who essentially plagiarised another project, in another case a student dumped a lot of code with unknown functionality so it was hard to understand or review. But here I want to talk about the students who actually stuck around after the program was over and even did something else.

FFhistory: the new generation

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

The original FFmpeg developers were mostly the people developing the project for fun and for personal reasons (i.e. being able to watch anime encoded in some weird format), the newer generation might’ve come for that reason but as often as not they were employed by some large company (or got employed by it soon after they started contributing) so their subsequent work was done mostly on behalf of their employer.

FFhistory: Luca Barbato

Saturday, January 14th, 2023

He claims to have started his career by writing Altivec optimisations, being spotted by Gentoo developers and asked by them to apply his skills at certain opensource projects… Originally he worked on MPlayer but eventually, in 2005, he turned his attention to FFmpeg as well.

FFhistory: optimisations

Friday, January 13th, 2023

There has never been an official explanation for FFmpeg name but people agree it has something to do with being fast (Stefano Sabatini had an output of some program trying to decipher this acronym in his mail signatures but it was just a joke). So we need to mention the people who made FFmpeg really fast by providing various optimisations.

FFhistory: Måns Rullgård

Thursday, January 12th, 2023

Finally I can pay homage to a man whose contributions to the project are rivalling Fabrice’s and Michael’s. Of course I’m talking about Måns.

FFhistory: audio

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Today I’d like to talk about people responsible for the specific audio components. For example, FFmpeg had AC-3 encoder right from the start but the decoding had to be done via third-party GPLed library so somebody had to write a native decoder. Or who is responsible for the majority of speech codecs support in libavcodec? And who has made a terrible audio encoder that was still in use by a major video hosting (not me)? Read on to find out.